Director Peter Jackson and actors Naomi Watts, Adrien Brody,and Jack Black faced the media yesterday at Jackson's Wellington studio complexto mark the beginning of principal photography on King Kong.

Camerasofficially roll on Monday on the remake of the 1933 classic, which is beingfinanced by Universal Pictures and will be released on December 14 2005.

While the details of some of the characters have beenaltered - Brody will be a writer in the new version, for example, rather than afirst mate on the ship - the new film will remain true to the times rather thanbe a politically correct version, said Jackson.

The King Kong writers, Jackson, Fran Walsh and PhilippaBoyens, also wrote The Lord Of The Rings (LOTR) trilogy and thecinematographer is again Andrew Lesnie. UK actor Andy Serkis will act as ahuman model for the gorilla in King Kong, just as he did for Gollum in LOTR.

Watts said she was disappointed that Fay Wray, who playedher character of Ann Darrow in the original, would not be seeing Jackson'sversion. Wray passed away last month. Watts revealed she had met Wray in NewYork shortly before she died, aged 96.